Habits of Self-Loving Women

Monday, May 28, 2012 3:09 PM


May I be so bold as to say that this was a great hair day? Technically, it wasn't a hair day at all. The kids had just gone to bed and I was in the bathroom getting ready to wash my face and put my hair up for the night. My hair had been up in a twist out bun all day and for whatever reason, I felt like letting it down and connecting with my inner lioness. My night time rituals, when I am able to attend to them, always set me up for a good night's sleep and a productive morning. I don't get much privacy, so I love to carve out at least thirty minutes in the bathroom each night to be alone. How I choose to spend that time varies, but the important thing is that I cater to my mood and allow myself to recharge. 

Why You Need to Cultivate Self-Loving Habits.
When you don't make time for things that make you feel good, you're opening the door for needy, insecure behavior to become your method of operation. You can't wait for other people to make you feel good. I've learned this the hard way and I never want to go back to living in a world where everyone else's needs, wants and opinions matter more than my own. Praise and appreciation feel good, but they shouldn't be your motivation for what you do - especially not for things that you do for yourself.

Today, I'd like to share four habits that I've cultivated to stay grounded in my identity and show myself love. I encourage you to think about your own patterns and if you are giving yourself as much love and attention as you give to others. 

Keep some things private.
I make a conscious effort to be open and honest in my everyday interactions with people and certainly in my writing. I find that transparency is empowering for the most part. But I've learned that some thoughts and feelings are best kept private. Discretion is key. When you tell your secrets, you open yourself up to the opinions of others. So you must first determine if this exposure is wise and/or necessary and if so, be sure that you are emotionally ready for the possible criticism.

Disconnect and unplug.
You can't make yourself available to everyone day and night. I refuse to be a slave to my many communication devices. Everyone's threshold is different, so just make it your business to be aware of yours. Perhaps you should designate a certain amount of times a day to check email or return phone calls. Whatever you do, don't overextend yourself makiing it impossible for you to ever concentrate on one thing at a time. 

Pamper your hair and skin.
You've heard me talk about the importance of beauty routines before. In addition to my obvious love of all things hair, beauty and self-care have always been hobbies of mine. I used to feel down when my significant other didn't acknowledge my efforts as much I thought he should. I would even go so far as to seek that attention in other places. (I'm always throwing sneaky confessions into my posts, right?) But time and experience have taught me that I'm really the only audience that matters. Even if no one else notices or cares, I will always enjoy the process of pampering myself. 

Learn how to self-soothe.
When things aren't going your way and no one understands, it's easy to give in to self-pity and lose hope. I used to go to this dark place often - feeling down and upset and wanting someone else to make it better for me.  One of the most valuable things I've learned is how to pick myself up, dry my tears and stuff a sock in the mouth of that annoying inner critic that tells me that I suck and the world is coming to an end.  How you self-soothe is very intimate and personal, so I can't say what will work for you but prayer, meditation and positive self-talk will start you on the right path.

In the coming weeks, I'll share more habits of self-loving women and I'd love to include your ideas as well. Leave a comment or email me with your tips and I'll share them as part of the series.